The Quad Cortex experience. Five Stars
Well it is now 5 months since I received my Quad Cortex and after trying it for a couple of months I went back to my AXEFX 2 (also a great machine for its time), as my main machine because it suited my purpose better. The QC while it had potential was not cutting it for me -yet.
Two weeks ago with the 1.2.0 firmware installed I tried again. Wow, what a difference. I don’t know whether I’ve got better at using it or 1.2.0 has improved ( probably a bit of both), it but it was a different story. The way I use it is quite devious and the intuitive connectivity makes it so easy.
One problem with the way I first used it was I expected it to do too much.
I had guitar,octave down bass,vocals,harmonica and digital drums all processed by QC and sent to 1&2 out.
I record a lot of what I do often ,to check things out , and whilst they were clear , my recordings were a bit raw and as I need all the help I can get , I went back to my old system.
But now —-
Gtr , I used the 2 Amps 2 cabs preset as my basic patch but removed the second cab on each amp as I needed the other two lines for other things. This gives me a really superb stereo guitar sound as one guitar line is delayed a fraction , and as line 1 outputs to Out 1 and line 3 to Out 2 it really sounds like 2 guitars playing, especially if you use different amps or captures on each line.
-a good idea for a processor would be a delay with a definable random delay to get a bit of a humanised feel happening-
I use line 2 for vocals and line 4 for an EHX B3 organ pedal. This uses the whole machine (other than USB).
I could chanel my Drums via USB to separate outs but have kept my native instruments interface as it has an easily accessed volume control to alter drum levels easily on the fly.
I still use a TC Voicelive3 Extreme but now only for vocal harmonies and the occasional loop. It once was used for nearly everything. My vocal and guitar sound is now just what I want.
I use an Fx send from line 2 (vocals) to the VL3 mic input as a vocal feed (after EQ) for the harmonies , and an Fx send from line 1 (gtr )to the guitar input of the VL3 which controls the pitch of the harmonies. A boss OC5 for octave down bass to a mixer Chanel and another mixer Chanel for harmonica.
I use a lot of clean sounds for guitar and the sound is definitely a step up. . The distorted sound are awesome as well. I used to have one favourite guitar but now it makes them ALL sound good.
I originally purchased the QC for the ability to use NDSP plugins live ( which hasn’t happened yet) but I’m now getting what I want without them.
I’m extremely happy with the unit and now there is no going back.
The ease of use of the interface is great and as I can’t use my on the foot switches (as I play digital drums real time with pedals) I find the nice flat tops of the switches and their smooth action very easy to operate with my fingers.
The scene mode is great and so easy to use to get different scenarios. It should be called scenario mode
Only a couple of things I miss from the AXEFX.
1–I used to run a vocal line into the side chain of a compressor in the gtr patches to create a ducking circuit to lower the gtr volume when I sing. and
2- an LFO in the wah effect to give an auto wah.
But I’m now so happy with the unit I’m prepared to sacrifice these things - but hopefully not forever.
What a classy machine
Well done Neural DSP.